Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)
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Gardens of the Moon

by Steven Erikson
Release date: April 1999
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasyhigh fantasy

Click here to see the original UK cover art.

World Fantasy Award nominee 2000.

The Malazan Empire is a continent-spanning dominion over which the ruthless Empress Laseen holds sway, her rule enforced by the Claws, the Imperial assassins. Bled dry by incessant warfare and undermined by dissension, signs indicate that the Empire could be crumbling from within.

The Genabackis campaign has been a war of attrition in which the Malazans have spent years fighting the combined forces of local armies aided by the formidable Son of Darkness and Lord of the Tiste Andii, Anomander Rake, the Crimson Guard, the powerful warlord Caladan Brood, and their allies.

Though they emerge victorious from the siege of Pale and impel the flying fortress of Moon’s Spawn to retreat and abandon the conflict, the Malazan triumph is bittersweet. Evidence implies that the Bridgeburners were nearly wiped out by treacherous elements from within the ranks of their own army.

Before any light can be shed on what truly occurred, the Malazan troops are sent marching to subdue Darujhistan, the last of the Free Cities of Genabackis. Soon, as the conflict escalates, powerful forces converge on Darujhistan.

And with gods and Ascendants watching and manipulating events, nothing is as it seems in the City of Blue Fire.

Thus begins The Malazan Book of the Fallen, one of the greatest and most ambitious fantasy epics of our time.

"Steven Erikson is an extraordinary writer. I read Gardens of the Moon with great pleasure. And now that I have read it, I would be hard-pressed to decide what I enjoyed more: the richly and ominously magical world of Malaz and Genabackis; the large cast of sympathetically rendered characters; or the way the story accumulates to a climax that hits like machinegun fire. My advice to anyone who might listen to me is: Treat yourself to Gardens of the Moon. And my entirely selfish advice to Steven Erikson is, write faster." – Stephen R. Donaldson

"Erikson's style is no-nonsense, and his military campaigns have a reality to them that's often lacking in fantasy… complex, challenging… Erikson's strengths are his grown-up characters and his ability to create a world every bit as intricate and messy as our own." – J. V. Jones

"Steven Erikson… has the breadth and detail of imaginative vision, he is able to create a world that is both absorbing on a human level and full of magical sublimity, and, above all, he can write… a wonderfully grand conception… fiendishly readable." – Adam Roberts

updated 2017-01-16

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Reviews (3)

Jacob Walsh avatar
Written by
To put it simply, this book, and the rest of the series, is the greatest work of Fantasy to come out since the Lord of the Rings was published. It is a perfect mix of humor and seriousness, both vast in scope and narrow in focus. It creates a world full of magic, but it is a world that is harsh, gritty, and even more diverse than our own. There is both good and evil, but there is no black and white. The series manages to be innovative and yet still retain many of the traditional trappings of a ... (more)
Bluejay avatar
Written by
I had read several reviews of this novel saying that it's a little bit hard to get into at first BUT definitely worth reading. I have to agree. Struggling through the first chapters took a while. Not that the plot wasn't interesting but Erikson's style was new to me and that combined with the overwhelming pace, amount of characters and the whole new and detailed world took some time to get used to. Soon I was reading through the night and walking the book in other hand during the day. If ... (more)
Seregil of Rhiminee avatar
Written by
Gardens of the Moon is the first book of the amazing Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Gardens of the Moon and the other books in this series were highly recommended to me, so I had to buy all the books in this series. I haven't regretted it, because this book (and the whole series) is excellent. It's one of the best fantasy books ever written. If you're interested in epic high fantasy, you should this book. You'll love it!
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